Spiral hat ('Eisa')

Spiral hat ('Eisa')

Cristóbal Balenciaga
Silk
Spain
1962
Museum no. T.146-1998

This hat is a perfect example of the dramatic yet minimal sculptural shapes for which the Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga was known. It is worn like a pillbox hat, perching on top of the head. It is secured by three internal hair combs to support the dramatic sculptural spirals rising up at the back. The clean lines and solid block colour exemplify the couturier's desire to strip things back to their simplest form.

Balenciaga established his eponymous couture house in Paris in 1937 but he already ran three couture houses in Spain under the name of Eisa. The Eisa ateliers were based in Madridand Barcelona with a third in the chic summer resort of San Sebastian.